Assistant Director, Food Safety and Applied Nutrition of NAFDAC, Mrs Benedicta Ughanze, has said that poor feeding practice is a factor contributing to high child morbidity and mortality statistics in Nigeria.
Ughanze said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.
She also commended the media for its critical role in the promotion of code of compliance on proper feeding.
She said the code aimed at protecting and promoting breastfeeding by ensuring appropriate marketing and distribution of breast milk substitute.
“Ideally, the media serves several essential roles in our society. Their primary purpose is to inform the public, providing citizens with the information needed to make thoughtful decisions about the environment and policies.
”The media act as watchdogs checking activities going on in our environment. So, they can be used to promote the code of compliance,” she said.
She described breastfeeding as the optimal method of feeding for the great majority of infants, saying it must be protected, promoted and supported.
“Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies.
“Manufacturers and distributors of breast milk substitutes and related products shall not sponsor meetings of health professionals and scientific meetings.
Ughanze also said according to provisions, no healthcare facility should allow manufacturers or distributors of breast milk substitutes to use their facilities for commercial events, contests or campaigns.
She said manufacturers and distributors should comply with the Code’s provisions even if their countries had not adopted laws or other measures.
Ughanze, however, urged the media to serve as one of the foot soldiers in promoting infant, young child feeding from grassroots level, adding that it is key priority in the effort to improve survival, growth, and development of children with equity.